Identifying the Need

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Read § 7.5 – Long Reports in Last, et al, Technical Writing Essentials.

For this exercise, decide what situation you want to deal with in your recommendation report. Then write a statement of 150-200 words in which you

  • Identify what the situation is that needs a solution and what your role is in finding that solution. For example, are you an office manager who has been asked by your boss to find a replacement for the office printer? Are you a homeowner who needs a better way to clean your floors? Is your cell phone about to die?
  • Explain why it is important to find the thing (tool, appliance, device, software, etc) that will fill the need. Why is it urgent? Who will suffer if a solution isn’t found, or will benefit if one is? Are there considerations of health, safety, money?
  • Identify and list a range of things that can potentially solve the need. Think in broad terms here and think of things that possibly might work. Don’t be too literal and don’t exclude things that might only be remote possibilities. The goal here is to generate as large a list as possible. Think in terms of types or categories rather than specific brands and models.
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